Orleans is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 6,341 at the 2000 census.
For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Orleans, please see the article Orleans (CDP), Massachusetts.
Orleans was first settled in 1693 by Pilgrims from the Plymouth Colony who were dissatisfied with the poor soil and small tracts of land granted to them. Originally the southern parish of neighboring Eastham, Orleans was officially incorporated in 1797. Orleans was named in honor of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, in recognition of France's support for the 13 colonies during the American Revolution, and because the town did not want an English name, as they had been captured twice by the British during the war.